Thursday, October 9, 2014

Online Novel Chapter 4 - Visions Of Grandeur

"What the hell are you doing, Tucker?" Lisa nearly screeched at him.

The burly knight had taken the scroll from the air and was now holding it in his right hand.  The armored gloves he wore made manipulating the paper appear clumsy, but he managed to turn it to where the picture made sense.

"I don't even know which way is north," he mumbled.  Turning the map again, he continued, "I think this blue dot down here is where we are, but I'm not sure."

Lisa repeated, "What the hell are you doing?  You're not thinking about trying to do what that bastard told us, are you?"

"I can only assume that the way back to our home is to complete this quest," Tucker replied without taking his eyes off the map.  "If you've got another idea, I'm all ears."

"You're friggin' insane," Ray said.  "Let's say for a sec that that might be the case - what do any of us know about killing real live dragons?"

"We've done it plenty," Pat piped up.  "We know the details, even if the mechanics might be off."

"THAT WAS A ROLE PLAYING GAME!" Dan yelled.  "If the dice rolled the wrong way, you went home and, at worst, made a new character.  You fuck up here and you'll turn into a charcoal briquette."

"Who says we can't do it?" Chris asked.  "If we've really been given the skills our characters had, then we should be a pretty powerful group.  We've been playing the same folks for a few years now, so any 'real' manifestation of them should be quite a sight."

"This is nuts.  I can't believe..."  Dan trailed off before leaning heavily against the wall.  When he looked up, his voice became dreamy.  "A town not far acts as a sacrificial lamb.  Looking for a savior they are, with the ability to reward that savior.  They hide their wares, but that doesn't stop the beasts from looking.  They've yet found nothing but a pleasure in killing, but the town's luck won't long hold."

They stared at Dan as he straightened, his milky white eyes peering around the room while wisps of grey hair fell about his face.  Finally, Kurt spoke up.

"What was that?"

"No idea," Dan replied as he panted.  "This picture of a monstrous army of some kind came over me, and the need to share the vision was too much.  That, and a blue gem, plus a canteen of some kind.  I get the feeling they're important."

"Any idea which town?" Tucker asked.

"Not off the top of my head, but I might be able to find it if you hand me that scroll."

As Tucker was handing it over, Lisa said, "Are you seriously considering this?  Just ten seconds ago you were on my side about how crazy this was."

Dan hesitated, uncertainty creeping into his face.  After a second or three, he reached back towards Tucker.  "Give me the scroll."

"I hate to break it to you, dude, but you're blind."

"I know that, but something tells me I can read the scroll, or at least get a sense from it.  Give it to me."

The scroll changed hands, and Dan pawed it instead of looking at it.  His fingers ran up and down the length while he stared into space.  "Wostrom.  It's to the west.  That's where we need to start."

Retrieving the scroll, Tucker said, "Doesn't look too far.  We can be there soon if we start now."

He, Pat, and Chris started out the door.  Dan, clutching Chris' priestly robes, stutter-stepped after them, while Lisa, Kurt, and Ray stared at the group.

"We're going," Tucker said.  "You can stay here and hope to find another way home, or you can come with us.  We've been a great team for years; we can do this."

The debate was over.  None of the three who tried staying behind looked enthused, but they didn't want to be alone either.  They joined Tucker and the rest as the knight reached for the door handle and jerked it open.

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